In regular rotation during the March Madness NCAA Tournament, there’s an ad for iPhone’s sticker feature. Apparently, people are asking about the bouncy , 60s garage-rock song featured in it. The song is “Boys are Boys and Girls are Choice” by the Monks.
What can I say about The Monks? They were a band of ex-G.I.s in Germany during the 60s who decided to make loud, scary beat music. Around the time I was playing in a college band, Henry Rollins’ record label re-released their lone album, Black Monk Time. The whole thing’s amazing.
The first time I heard The Monks was their single “Complication” (go listen to it!) on the Nuggets box set. It’s one of the songs often mentioned by people talking about proto-punk garage rock.
I’ll go one further than that. I remember seeing images of “punk rockers” on TV news as a kid. It was a little bit scary. Mohawks. Safety pin piercings. Spiked dog collars. Those people looked dangerous.
When I actually heard punk music, however, I was surprised how much it resembled the 50s and 60s rock and roll I’d been raised on via “Oldies” radio. The Clash covered the Bobby Fuller Four, for crying out loud. The Ramones worked with Phil Spector. Even the Sex Pistols sounded like louder, dissonant versions of 60s pop, with hooks.
But The Monks. Damn.
“Complication” by the Monks is what I thought punk rock would be. It actually sounds like what the guy wearing football pads in The Road Warrior would listen to.
It sounds dissonant and scary and not at all fun. Which, of course, is what makes it fun.